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Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

The World Wide Web may bring the world to our fingertips, but for tens of millions, some of the greatest wonders of the Web still require proficiency in English—the dominant language for information seeking. Progress has been slow building search portals in other languages, but with online populations in some regions experiencing triple-digit growth, demand is pushing innovation in a big way.

Wingyan Chung reviews the latest advances in Web search engines in a multilingual world in this month's cover story. He examines three prototype Web search portals—in Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic—and reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each and their potential for opening up informational treasures like never before. He also offers valuable guidance on how systems developers and managers, as well as users, worldwide can best support non-English Web searching.

Also this month, many governments worldwide employ wireless connectivity to extend their services among the citizenry. Silvana Trimi and Hong Sheng consider the advantages and implications of m-government, exploring notable projects, and nations, leading the charge.

Dov Dori details a conceptual modeling framework—Object-Process Methodology—that employs graphics and text to help alleviate cognitive loads. And Irit Hadar and Uri Leron question the intuitiveness of object-oriented design, citing research that traces the inevitable clash between intuitive and analytical modes of thinking.

Auction houses appear to be at a crossroads, with many buyers and sellers losing confidence in the system. Auction fraud is an escalating concern, not only to consumers but to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission where reports of fraudulent transactions grew from 106 in 1997 to more than 24,000 in 2007. Bezalel Gavish and Christopher Tucci examine this trend, focusing on how some buyers are being swindled.

While software configuration management (SCM) practices may not support change management, Mohan, Xu, and Ramesh report all is not lost. Their article indicates how to integrate traceability practice with SCM practice to improve change-management processes in software development.

In "Viewpoint," former Communications editor-in-chief Jacques Cohen urges CS support for the emerging field of synthetic biology, emphasizing the idealistic goals of the field will not be feasible without the engaged contribution of computer scientists.

Finally, meet the candidates running for ACM's 2008 General Election, beginning on page 22.

Diane Crawford

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